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TUESDAY, May 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Knocking off some extra pounds might take a harmful load off your knees, researchers report.

Obese and overweight people who lost 5 percent or more of their weight over four years saw less degeneration of their knee cartilage compared with people whose weight stayed stable.

"Our study shows that a lifestyle intervention such as weight loss can slow the process of knee joint degeneration in patients at risk for and with osteoarthritis," said lead researcher Dr. Alexandra Gersing.

"Therefore, it may slow the worsening of symptoms, such as pain and disability," said Gersing, who's with the University of California, San Francisco's department of radiology and biomedical imaging.

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